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Kasa Smart Video Doorbell Review: A promising video doorbell at a great price is held back ironically by money

Android Central 9/22/2022 Chris Wedel

For a smart video doorbell that retails for around $60 and offers as many features as the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell, there have to be some major concessions — right? Well, yes and no. It has a nice design to encase a 2K camera, two-way audio, smart detection features, and more. Oh, it also comes with a wireless chime to ensure you can hear the doorbell no matter where you are in your home. So the downsides are few, but one of them is pretty frustrating — but we'll dive deeper into that in the full review below.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell: Pricing and Availability

Kasa launched its Smart Video Doorbell in March 2022 with a retail price of $59.99. It video doorbell only comes in the single color option of black and white. You can pick up the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell at retailers such as Amazon, B&H, Walmart, and more. Pricing varies from around $60 to the current price of $48.29 at Amazon and B&H.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell: What's good

I've had the chance to use many of the best video doorbells on the market, including the very good Ring Video Doorbell 4. But until now, all cost more than $60 and were battery-powered. The Kasa Smart Video Doorbell checks the price box and requires hardwiring for power. Because my house has a wired doorbell already installed, I was excited to ditch it in favor of the video doorbell.

The Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is a relatively nice-looking device. The two-tone black and white colors look nice, and the doorbell has an S-shape, with the button recessed just a bit. Also in the box are the necessary wires for installation, a mounting bracket, a 15-degree wedge, the wireless chime, and paperwork.

With everything unboxed, I opened the Kasa app to my phone because I already use other devices from the brand, like their excellent smart plugs and security cameras. The app does a great job of walking you through the process of installing the doorbell. It discusses turning off the power to the existing doorbell, how to jumper the existing chime, and connecting the new video doorbell. 

With the Smart Video Doorbell installed and paired to the app, I was ready to place the wireless chime somewhere in my home. Sure, you'll get notifications on your phone when someone presses the doorbell's button, but if you don't have your phone nearby, you may miss it. The wireless chime ensures you don't. It's so great that Kasa includes this in the box.

The process of installing the chime is as simple as plugging it into a wall socket. After that, it just takes entering the video doorbell's settings and selecting the Chime Pairing option. Then hold a button on the chime, click next in the app, and voila — done. Now when the doorbell button is pressed, the wireless chime will also notify you with one of eight chime options. You can also adjust the volume of the sounds.

Using the Kasa app is relatively straightforward. If you have multiple Kasa devices already, on the home screen, you see all you have paired to the app. Tapping on the video doorbell takes you directly to the live view. From there, you can communicate with whoever is at the door with two-way audio or tap on the message icon and choose one of the five preset messages. At the bottom of the live view, you'll see the schedule icon to automate when the doorbell is on or off, view recordings from the doorbell, or set the Do Not Disturb mode.

Going further into the app, we get into the settings page. I think Kasa has done a good job of including plenty of customization options without it feeling overwhelming. There are basic things like power, managing notifications, DND, LED indicator lights, video quality, and more. But the features that seem extra due to the low price are where it really gets good.

The section for Detection & Sensitivity is where many of the intelligent features are. Kasa has built-in motion and sound detection but also includes person detection. You can adjust the sensitivity in recognition and how long the motion lasts for it to begin recording. The clips from an event will have 3-5 seconds of footage before the motion was detected to give you as much information as to what caused the event as possible.

Kasa also includes the ability to set activity zones. When you access this feature, you are presented with a live view from the doorbell and a box with four articulating corners. You can drab each corner individually to designate the area for the camera to "watch" for activity. So, if you live on a busy street, you may want to draw a box that doesn't include the traffic to avoid unwanted notifications.

The video quality is pretty nice, with a 2K maximum resolution. In most lighting conditions, things look clear, and details in the image are noticeable. In some cases, if a bright light backlights a person, the dynamic range can't sort out the lighting situation, and the person will be almost a silhouette. 

Covering the sensor is a 160-degree lens, so the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell can offer a great view of what's in front of it with very few blind spots. While the camera is capable of crisp 2K recording, you may not be able to see them in live view if your Wi-Fi speeds can't keep up. If you have slower internet, you can lower the resolution to stream live video to your phone.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell
Doorbell Dimensions1.78 x 1.08 x 5.12 in. (45 x 27.5 x 130 mm)
Chime Dimensions1.71 x 1.85 x 2.87 in. (43.5 x 46.9 x 73 mm)
Connectivity2.4 Wi-Fi (802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n)
Wireless SecurityWEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK; 128 bit AES encryption with SSL/TLS
Storage Supports Micro SD card, up to 128 GB
Two-way communication✔️
Speaker✔️
Camera resolution2K HD (2304 × 1296 pixels)
Viewing area160° diagonal
Night vision 850 nm IR LED up to 15 ft
Smart featuresPerson detection, motion detection, activity zones, sound detection
WeatherproofIP64
PowerHardwired (16V AC ~ 24V AC, 10 VA Minimum, 50/60Hz)

When it turns dark outside, the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell has eight IR lights to help you see up to 30 feet from the camera. It isn't color night vision, but the black and white images during the night are good enough that you can make out what is going on. Depending on your preferences, you can also turn off the white LED ring around the button and/or the status LED towards the top of the doorbell. You may want to do this if you wish to avoid drawing attention to the fact that you have a video doorbell installed.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell: What's not good

As I mentioned in the very first paragraph of this review, was that at $60, there have to be some concessions to meet that price point — and there are a few. For instance, the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is compatible with the best smart displays from Google and Amazon. So, you can ask either voice assistant to show you your front door, and it will pull the live feed from the camera. But that's where it ends. So if someone were there, you'd have to either get your phone out to talk to them or go to the door.

I understand that Amazon has Ring for its video doorbells and Google has Nest. So they likely want to compromise to allow you to view the video feed from other brands but withhold two-way audio for their own devices. While I understand why the feature may be missing, I don't like it, and it also isn't a deal breaker but more of an inconvenience.

Speaking of annoyances and notifications. Kasa provides multiple ways to adjust which reports come in and when. However, even with sensitivity low, motion length high, and only human detection enabled, I still get a lot of notifications. I'll get told that a person has been detected at my door when there's nobody there and the recording only shows trees or an animal. This also occurs with a relatively small activity zone set. Again, not a significant issue for a $60 video doorbell, but not only can it get annoying, but you might start ignoring the notifications altogether.

My last issue, though, is one that really bugs me. It's that while the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell supports up to 128GB of local storage, you can't download it without paying for a Kasa Care subscription. The base option is only $3/mo, but the fact that you have to pay them in order to save any videos that are stored on the microSD card is frustrating.

I even tried to take the card out and pull the video files manually on my computer, but they are encrypted. So, the only way to get the files is by paying for them. It feels pretty slimy that even though the recordings are on a microSD card I paid for separately from the video doorbell, I have to pay Kasa extra to get them.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell: Competition

It's difficult to mention video doorbells and not talk about Ring. As one of the pioneers in the space, Ring is a leader because of it. While many of its video doorbell options are more than the $60 Kasa's costs, Ring's Video Doorbell Wired nearly matches the price, usually floating around the $65 range.

Ring's option offers 1080p video, night vision, customizable motion zones, privacy zones for blocking parts of the view from being recorded, and a 6-second pre-roll. The last feature does much like Kasa does, where it saves six seconds before the motion was initially detected. These are all helpful features, but compared to Kasa's option, the camera is a lower resolution and doesn't come with a wireless chime.

However, Ring's video doorbell does offer two-way audio from Amazon Echo smart displays, no Google, as Kasa only gets live video. Their doorbells also integrate with other excellent Ring devices, like turning on lights or other cameras when detecting motion. But to get some of the smart features like person detection and the pre-roll, you'll need to pay for a monthly Ring subscription.

Wyze is a brand known for its low-cost cameras like the Wyze Cam Outdoor or the indoor Wyze Cam. Taking what it learned from those devices and putting it into a video doorbell. Keeping with the company's tradition, the Wyze Video Doorbell comes in at $59 with a wireless chime or $40 without. 

Like Kasa and the Ring model mentioned above, the Wyze Video Doorbell must also be hardwired. The doorbell itself is very small compared to most other options. It sports a 1080p HD video feed with a 4:3 aspect ratio with a relatively narrow 120° Vertical x 88° Horizontal field of view. It also features an 8x digital zoom, IR night vision, bright LED fill light, and end-to-end encryption.

It is nice to see an option to get a wireless doorbell chime to extend notifications. It does work with Echo Show devices, but like Kasa, you won't be able to communicate through it. However, to get person detection, full-length motion recording, vehicle, pet, package detection, and some other features, you'll need to pay for a Wyze Cam Plus subscription that starts at $2/mo.

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if...

  • You are on a budget.
  • You want a hardwired video doorbell.
  • You want a wireless chime extender.
  • You want 2K video with smart features.

You should not buy this if...

  • You want to download your recordings.
  • You need highly accurate notifications.
  • You want to talk to visitors through your smart display.

As a complete package, the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is a great option. It provides solid features in a good-looking package. The low cost, the features included, and the wireless chime extender are wonderful. But some concessions need to be made to reach that price point. 

Namely the choice to charge customers for saving their locally stored recordings. If you want to save events from the video doorbell that are saved to the microSD card, you'll have to pony up at least $3/mo. But you can't pay to gain the ability to communicate with visitors at your door through your Google or Amazon smart display. You can see them but can't talk to them.

Are these frustrating and possibly wrong? Yes. But the monthly service fee isn't astronomical, and the 2K resolution video, wireless chime, and other features are great, considering the price. If you can accept the cons of this device, the Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is pretty great.

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